Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Wham, Bam (Ho-Hum)
2006-09-14 05:26
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

I can't recall the last time I was at the Stadium when things were as relaxed as they were last night. The announced paid attendance was over 52,000, but there were far less who actually turned out to watch the Bombers plow past the hapless D-Rays, 8-4. Truth be told, it wasn't a particularly exciting game. The pace was American League East Sluggish as the starting pitching for both sides was mediocre. However, there were some highlights: Derek Jeter's first inning single, which extended his hitting streak to 22 straight; Robinson Cano's five RBI, and Alex Rodriguez's drive that landed half-way up the black seats in dead center. Rodriguez had three hits on the night, and helped keep a first inning rally moving by taking out shortstop Ben Zobrist with a hard, but clean slide. Jason Giambi had two hits and though Godzilla Matsui went hitless, he just got under a pitch in his first at bat and lined out hard to left later in the game.

The Yankees' magic number was reduced to seven as the Red Sox were blanked in Baltimore last night, 4-0.

Bernie Williams celebrated his 38th birthday from the bench. At one point between innings, the P.A. blared the Beatles tune, "Birthday," and Bernie waved to the crowd. Joel Sherman spoke with Bernabee, who remains a class act:

Williams admits having to battle the dissatisfaction of devolving from star to spectator. "I'd rather be frustrated about not playing, then accept it and then not be ready when playing time comes," Williams said. "The frustration tells me I'm ready and I'll be ready when they need me."

..."I'm having a lot of fun, man," Williams said. "I am more mature at accepting administrative decisions. It's not that I lack fire or don't feel frustration at times. But I can accept it and not be subversive about it."

Meanwhile, for the latest on Mariano Rivera, check out Jack Curry's column this morning in the Times.

And for a glimpse of the future, peep Jim Baumbach's piece on the Yankees' top pitching prospect, Phillip Hughes.

2006-09-14 06:01:31
1.   Emy
True dat, Alex... very ho-hum indeed. I'm not used to seeing so many empty seats in the house nowadays. Given the weather, I expect even less tonight.

A Yanks win or Sawx loss today drops the magic number to 6, meaning Yanks could clinch at home this weekend vs. Boston by taking 3 out of 4! How sweet would that be?

2006-09-14 06:08:17
2.   mikeplugh
Also, Bob Ryan's column tells why Jeter is the MVP and Papi is on the outside looking in.

Gotta love it when Boston writers are voting for our boy Jetes.

2006-09-14 07:01:08
3.   Bob B
mikeplugh, Thanks for the tip on the Bob Ryan article. Very well written for a Boston Reporter.
2006-09-14 07:47:15
4.   C2Coke
Peter Abraham wrote on his blog last night on the likability of the Yankees, I remember there were some discussions going on a few days back here on the Banter regarding this topic.

Furthermore, it also seemed like Abraham hinted that RJ might be starting first and Moose second in the playoffs, or was he just giving an example? Why would RJ be starting Game 1? All the experience?

2006-09-14 07:59:24
5.   seamus
4 If we are home for round 1, I cannot believe that Wang doesn't start in one of the home games. Particularly if we play the Twins where we do NOT want Wang pitching on that artificial turf.
2006-09-14 08:06:30
6.   JL25and3
A couple of weeks ago, Joe said that he wants to start Wang at Yankee Stadium. I'd expect it to go Mussina-Wang-Johnson, but who knows what he might be thinking from one day to the next.
2006-09-14 08:09:06
7.   Bama Yankee
Speaking of Wang starting at Yankee Stadium, is anyone going to try to post pistolpete's "Worm Burner" signs at the game tonight?
2006-09-14 08:22:14
8.   pistolpete
7 Wow, those might be some wet Wang worm burner signs, if used tonight that is. ;-)
2006-09-14 08:48:27
9.   yanklifer
Sorry guys, off the point, but does anyone know a good football giants blog?
2006-09-14 08:53:04
10.   seamus
9 This was the best i found when i searched, but that was a while ago.

My favorite giants site is

2006-09-14 08:59:04
11.   Chyll Will
8 If anyone were to do it, you can have them laminated at a print shop or perhaps FedEx Kinkos so they won't get wet and you can use them over and over again.
2006-09-14 09:06:26
12.   standuptriple
11 If you want to post signs for K's you'll save yourself a lot of trouble. You'd only need 3-4, if that. I kid, I kid. Wang rocks.
2006-09-14 09:07:36
13.   mehmattski
If the game is played, the ratio of worms killed per ground ball will be higher, as the rain normally drives them above ground and into danger. I hope Pavano's not at the stadium, he could trip over one and hurt something.
2006-09-14 09:13:02
14.   Cliff Corcoran
I have no love for Meat Pavano, but I think we're thisclose to having exhausted the humor of those Pavano jokes. That said, great point about the worms coming out due to the rain. Tonight would be the perfect night for those signs.
2006-09-14 09:19:08
15.   yankeemonkey
I have a dumb question for y'all knowledgeable folk:

Why does the catcher always throw the ball to third after a strikeout? It's something that's bothered me for a long time...and don't tell me I have issues, I already know that :-)

2006-09-14 09:26:10
16.   rbj
13 Then prepare for a PETA protest
"Yankees unfair to worms. Annelids have rights too"
2006-09-14 09:27:02
17.   Bama Yankee
13 What a difference a day makes mehmattski. Yesterday, you were getting a ton of "well said's". Today, Cliff calls you on the Pavano humor. ;-)
For the record, I think the Pavano humor is still relevant. Although, we might want to be careful not to hurt Carl's feelings, since that is the only thing he has not hurt since he has been a Yankee. Just kidding...
2006-09-14 09:28:50
18.   Paul in Boston
2 Bob Ryan is a class act, one of the best sports journalists in the biz. His article today is typical, as is this one from Aug 25 Boston Globe after the 5 game sweep, which I think is absolutely brilliant (unfortunately now only available to paid subscribers):

"I appeared to strike a chord in the readership earlier this week by writing the following: "The truth is we need to sit down and figure what sports are all about. We've lost our way."

It was in reference to the Yankees' infamous five-game sweep of the Red Sox, and the need of many, as I saw it, to find someone to blame for all this, rather than to accept it as a pure athletic situation in which one team simply performed better than another over a period, in this case four days."

He goes on for several more paragraphs to describe just how petty and irrational fans can be when their team is going poorly -- it's great stuff.

2006-09-14 09:30:48
19.   pistolpete
15 Dunno, just something we all did in Little League and continued forever. "Throw it around, throw it around" you'd hear after a strikeout. Which was pretty often when you're 9 years old. IIRC, it goes from 3B to 2B to SS to 1B, and then back to the pitcher.

Of course, having everyone actually catch the ball (at 9 years old) as it's being thrown around is another matter.

2006-09-14 09:32:00
20.   pistolpete
18 Boston sports fans - petty and irrational? BREAKING NEWS!!! ;-)
2006-09-14 09:34:48
21.   mehmattski
17 Well, I got a half of a "well said" which is kind of like Jeter's streak continuing on a rule technicality. Do I have to stop blaming everything on A-Rod, too? I guess I could just go back to making fun of Tony Womack. Or Pat Kelly.

16 PETA doesn't care about invertebrates. They might as well change their name to People for the Ethical Treatment of Cute Animals. Dogs/Cats/Baby Seals yes, crabs/worms/insects not so much.

Um, for the sake of pretending to have a baseball discussion: I continue to be amazed by Robby Cano's home run last night. That ball was a foot off the plate away, and down, and he flicked it over the right field wall. Pretty impressive.

2006-09-14 09:36:20
22.   mehmattski
18 Um, so... wanting to kill Jason Kidd's wife is a class act? I have a JL25and2/Sheffield type grudge against him because of that.
2006-09-14 09:36:22
23.   Bama Yankee
15 I think it probably started to help keep the infielders warm and involved in the game. But now it also seems like some catchers like to add a little style to the game by quickly throwing the ball down to third after a strikeout (similar to the way umps have added their own flair to a strikeout call).
2006-09-14 09:38:28
24.   standuptriple
15 It basically to keep the rest of the team active and ready for the next hitter, since they were all spectators via the K. You don't want those fielders on their heels. I also think it shows the opponent competence (at younger ages). If you can't hit guys in the chest you don't throw it around.
2006-09-14 09:53:12
25.   murphy

Sheffield says he's swinging at 60% of his normal velocity. Torre, who believes the outfielder is close to healthy enough, points out that Sheffield's 60 "is 110% of everybody else."


2006-09-14 10:01:32
26.   Zack
Two things:
The post reports that "The more Joe Torre is asked about Hideki Matsui, the more it looks like Matsui will reclaim left field from Melky Cabrera."

Ugh, thats all I have to say. Torre has the golden hance to have Giambi play 1st, Matsui DH, AND get good outfield play from Melky, and he wants to screw that all up. Ugh I say, Ugh...

Second: The Globe had this tidbit: "The Red Sox, who have heard numerous complaints from their players about the schedule this season, prevailed upon the commissioner's office to eliminate one of the four West Coast trips the team had been scheduled to take in the master draft of the 2007 schedule."

Excuse me? How does that work? Talk about whiney!

2006-09-14 10:04:17
27.   JeremyM
I have to say, I find Pavano jokes timeless. Keep 'em coming.
2006-09-14 10:09:03
28.   seamus
i can do without the pavano jokes.
2006-09-14 10:09:03
29.   Schteeve
My thoughts last night when I found out that Liriano is out for the rest of the season..."Yankees just won the W.S."
2006-09-14 10:09:59
30.   Schteeve
Breaking News: Carl Pavano to DL with hurt feelings.
2006-09-14 10:10:30
31.   Paul in Boston
22 Re: Ryan, all I can comment on is his baseball coverage, which I find to be solid, objective, and well informed. He makes Dan Shaughnessy seem like an amateur.

Here's more from that Aug 25th article:

"Exhibit A would be the night in 2001 when David Cone hooked up with Mike Mussina. For eight innings, the story was this absolutely exhilarating duel between a fine pitcher in the prime of life pitching a superb game (Mussina) and a cagey veteran conjuring up one last flashback effort (Cone). But with the Yankees leading, 1-0, and Mussina having retired the first 26 men he had faced, it became a matter of seeing some history. No true baseball fan wanted to see Carl Everett (ugh) get a hit. A Red Sox victory would have meant nothing in the big scheme of things as opposed to seeing a perfect game. To me, it must start with, and always be about, the baseball, not the blind loyalty to a team. That, I guess, is where I part company with many contemporary Red Sox followers. If that Mussina-Cone matchup had been the seventh game of a playoff series, no, of course not. In that context, you've got to root for the win."

2006-09-14 10:10:52
32.   wsporter
This from Gregg Doyle at CBS Sportsline: "The Yankees have the worst fans in baseball". Because the knuckleheads booed A-Rod do we deserve this? Or is Gregg Doyle the "Rhodes Scholar" I suspect he is?

(Sorry Cliff the Tiny URL people say theirs wouldn't be any shorter)

2006-09-14 10:11:11
33.   JL25and3
22 D'oh! That's 25and3, as in 25-3, 1.74. Defeated only by three lefties named Mike.

I understand some self-righteous blowhard was in here yesterday, using my screen name. I have no idea who it was, but he promises to control himself a little better. At least until it comes time to discuss picking up Sheff's option...

2006-09-14 10:16:58
34.   Bama Yankee
33 "JL25and2" from 22 must be your evil twin. ;-)
2006-09-14 10:21:37
35.   mehmattski
Hodge podge of responses:

31 I did enjoy that one particular article. I was referring to an incident where on a Boston radio show he said that Joanna Kidd "should be slapped," which was in especially poor taste given the allegations of Jason Kidd's spousal abuse.

32 Gregg Doyle is an idiot, as I know from his many many inane articles about Duke Basketball. He often likes to perpetuate the "truth" about the ref conspiracy that hands Duke all their victories. General rule of thumb, as concluded by posters on DukeBasketballReport: If an article has "Gregg Doyle" in the byline, skip it.

33 Ah, but clearly I was referring to his loss to Baltimore in August, when he allowed only 2 runs, but one of them was unearned (got on base on Bucky Dent's error) and the Yanks lost 2-1. So it should have been at least 25-2, if not 26-2. I know, I know, revisionist thinking. That, or I didn't know until now what your screenname meant...

2006-09-14 10:27:26
36.   3rd gen yankee fan
32 Pffft... he's still trying to get mileage out of the "ARod booed" story? There's nothing else to write about?
2006-09-14 10:31:27
37.   JL25and3
31 I disagree. I'd root against anyone who was throwing a no-hitter against the Yankees, and if Gary Sheffield was the last hope for a hit, I'd be screaming for him to get it.

In 1985 I went to Phil Rizzuto Day, an August game against the White Sox. It was also the day that Tom Seaver got his 300th win - and I was rooting against him all the way.

2006-09-14 10:35:29
38.   JL25and3
35 Yeah, but then Dent helped just a bit in getting that 25th win.
2006-09-14 11:19:54
39.   Paul in Boston
Re: Guidry in 1978

I'm still amazed that Yaz was able to hit one out against him in the playoff game. He had such a long swing at that stage of his career, and it was lefty-vs-lefty. Didn't influence the outcome much, fortunately!

2006-09-14 11:53:15
40.   Chyll Will
33 When you remarked about your name some time ago, I still didn't know what you meant, but out of deference to your seniority here I decided not to ask. I was gonna go with "SamuraiJackson44", but I decided to be true to myself; people have called me this for years. Cool!
2006-09-14 11:55:08
41.   JL25and3
39 Bill James once wrote about Hal MacRae as an older player. As his swing slowed down, word got out that he couldn't get around on high heat anymore. So MacRae geared himself specifically for that pitch - and as a result, there were lots of ways to get MacRae out, but high heat wasn't one of them.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Yaz made the same sort of adjustment.

2006-09-14 15:57:35
42.   mikeplugh
B. Williams cf
D. Jeter ss
R. Cano 2b
A. Rodriguez 3b
J. Giambi 1b
J. Posada c
H. Matsui dh
A. Guiel rf
K. Thompson lf

Uh.....why is Bernie leading off?

2006-09-14 15:59:31
43.   mikeplugh
42 Bernie leading of and Matsui batting 7th means that at this point in the season Joe feels more comfortable with GOB hitting more in a game than he does Godzilla....stunning.

How about:


Doesn't that make more sense?

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